Razing the roof: Landmark Customs inspection lanes covering demolished
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A pile of debris sits at the Black Ball Ferry Lines terminal in Port Angeles, the remains of a covered auto port at the U.S. Customs station. The dock area of the ferry landing is undergoing renovation in conjunction with improvements to Railroad Avenue along the Port Angeles waterfront. The demolition is part of a five-month, $3.5 million project to replace the terminal’s western dock and improve the passegner terminal area. Operations of the ferry MV Coho are not expected to be affected by construction. -- Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A pile of rubble at the west end of Black Ball Ferry Lines' MV Coho terminal is the first step in a project to replace the aging wooden pier with a permanent concrete structure.

The rubble once stood as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's southbound vehicle inspection port and sits on the wooden pier that eventually will be removed, said Rian Anderson, the Port Angeles district manager for Black Ball Ferry Lines.

While construction is under way, southbound cars and trucks will exit the ferry and be directed to the northbound vehicle staging area for inspection, Anderson said.

He doesn't expect the detour to cause major delays, though the staging area will provide less space for vehicle inspections than the area being demolished.

“Our footprint is a little smaller, but we have less traffic now,” Anderson said.

“We should be able to work around it during the duration of construction.”

The new pier will provide a little more square footage than the old structure, Anderson said, specifically to allow large trucks to more easily negotiate the turn onto the pier from the ferry.

The demolition of the old pier and construction of the new, expected to wrap up in March or April, will not lead to the cancellation of any ferry runs, Anderson said.

The area of entire pier replacement project, which will be completely funded by Black Ball Ferry Lines with an expected cost of $3.8 million, already has been fenced off as a construction zone, Anderson explained, so no additional space will be off-limits once the entire wooden pier is removed.

The pier improvements are part of a larger planned face-lift of the entire ferry terminal, including the eastern pier and the turning knuckle to the north, which the Coho uses to back into the terminal, Anderson said.

“I'm not sure exactly when those projects will happen, but we have a five-year permit to accomplish them,” Anderson said.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 27. 2012 6:16PM
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